CFN– My understanding of our Senate in Canada growing up was that it was the somber house of last resort; a check to the balance of whatever laws elected officials in Parliament tried to ram through.
We of course need a Senate to balance the vagaries of partisan political aspirations in Canada, but somehow we got lost, or at least were told enough times that we go lost.
The Senate system here allows the ruling party to load or stack the Senate as seats open. It’s a pricey house and there will always be some flavour of partisanship.
My feeling is that our PM Stephen Harper, stacked the deck with candidates that he knew would fail or certainly were easy targets. None of them were long term MP’s; in fact two of them were from the hated media!
The focus of the Conservative Senate Scandal’s under the Harper government really do take the focus away from the purpose of the Senate. So after much navel gazing I have a plan.
It’s pretty simple as most great plans are. It all comes down to the goals or agenda. My goal in creating this plan was to create a group that would be made up of experienced MP’s. That to be a Senator in our Great Country you would have had to serve as a MP for at least 15 years.
That’s not an easy task, but any politician that can manage that most likely is not a party stooge; and most likely has had a productive career in politics.
As seats became available in the Senate those that qualify and wish to be a Senator would be added chronologically. No more partisan gifts. Likewise a Senator could not draw their MP pension while serving as a Senator.
Think about this for a moment. Think deeply about the ramifications of switching to this type of system?
The only negative I can think of is that we might not have a full Senate at times , but think about how MP’s would be forced to behave looking forward? They’d have to balance their party loyalty with their constituents because they would have more to lose by being voted out.
Likewise the Senate wouldn’t necessarily be filled with white haired party hacks. A young person who was elected around the age of 30 could technically be a Senator as early as the age of 45. What we would be doing is creating a house of people that had proved over the test of time that they were good sound leaders. Likewise an Independent or MP from a weaker party would not be excluded for doing a good job in their riding. After 15 years they qualify as a Senator as soon as a seat is available.
The ramifications of this across the board in how we govern would be impacted. And no matter what the majority, some of the potential damage that can be done with partisan laws, no matter which flavour, could possibly be prevented.
See, there are simple solutions to complex problems sometimes. Eradicating the Senate is not a just or intelligent solution; nor is having an elected Senate. All that does is just create a second elected body with all that comes with that.
Somber, experienced hands at the helm are rarely a bad thing whether they be gloved in Blue, Red, Orange, Green, or any other colour.
What do you think Canada? You can post your comments below.
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